Computer Ethics Awareness Among University Students

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Introduction 1.1 Background Computers are the core technology of our times and apparently, the most important technology to be invented and used by man . Without computers and computer networks, especially, the Internet, activities of most organizations, such as banks, schools, government agencies would simply grind to a halt. Modern society's dependence on the use of information technology, make it more vulnerable to computer malfunction caused by unreliable software and to computer misuse (Forrester and Morrison, 2001). According to Forrester and Morrison (2001), this unethical use of computer have created a whole new range of social problems, which include computer crime, software theft, hacking, the creation of viruses, invasion of privacy, overreliance on intelligent machines and workplace stress. This unethical behaviour related to Information System (IS) have caused significant losses to businesses and the society at large. Professional IT bodies are concerned about these ethical problems because of their potential harm to the society and to the integrity of the IT profession. The Association Computing Machinery (ACM), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the British Computer Society and International Federation for Information Processing (IFP) came together to formulate codes of ethics and professional conduct for IT professionals, as a way to check or reduce unethical conduct in the IT profession. The 1991 report of the ACM/IEEE-CS Curriculum Task Force recommended the introduction of computer ethics into Computer Science Curriculum at University level (Martin & Yale-Weltz, 1999). The report stressed the importance to expose students to ethical and societal issues that are associated with the co... ... middle of paper ... ...is study, the following research questions were formulated: Do they see some of their activities as computer crime? Has the teaching of computer ethics changed their perception of computer crime? Does age and gender affect students' judgment of what they perceive as computer crime? What are the similarities and differences between the findings of this study and that of related studies 1.4 Limitations of the Study This study evaluates computer ethics awareness among university students. It involves only students of masters in Computer and Systems Science Stockholm University. Other graduate students are excluded from the study. These group of students were chosen because they are readily accessible by the researcher and due to limited time that is available for the conduct of the study. The scope of the study is limited to computer crimes aspect of computer ethics.

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